Airport and Airlines Sign New Lease Agreement
Three down, three to go. Three of the major airlines have re-upped their commitment to fly in and out of Rochester, while officials say three more are soon to follow.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
When people need to get to where they're going, or even if they're coming back home, the numbers add up.
Nearly two and a half million people travel in and out of Rochester's airport each year. A new deal should bring more stability to the operation.
Monroe County and airport officials inked deals Wednesday with three of the six major airlines that fly in and out of Rochester; three-year deals with United, Southwest and Delta Airlines.
"Well, the significance of the agreement is stability for the airport. The airport is paid for. Operations are paid for at the airport," said Michael Giardino, Director of Aviation.
The deal is important because it helps the airport cover operating costs, which total about $34 million a year, but it's more than that.
"We have to realize that people have a choice when they travel."
Officials say stability keeps Rochester-based flights more competitive.
"If you go back a decade, a lot more people were going to Buffalo or Syracuse to fly to different destinations. We see less of that now," said Maggie Brooks, (R), County Executive.
The deals signed Wednesday are the result of nine months of negotiations. The three other major airlines that have yet to sign – JetBlue, U.S. Airways, and American Eagle are expected do so in the coming days.
"That means stability. That means we have committed air service from six major airlines at the very least. Of course, we're open for more," Giardino said.
The more flights, the better it is for businesses, interested in relocating. Brooks says that was evident after Southwest Airlines brought service to Rochester.
And overall travel is up two percent this year; another positive sign.
"We're more competitive than we were in the past, and it shows in our numbers," said Brooks.